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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways1

  • The chronic inflammation is associated with airway hyperresponsiveness that leads to recurrent symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing1
  • Symptoms are often associated with widespread or variable airflow obstruction within the lung that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment options1
  • Severe asthma refers to asthma which does not get better with the usual treatment leaving patients with breathing problems most of the time, meaning that a different treatment approach may be necessary to control the symptoms2,3

Certain factors may lead to asthma symptoms4

Most asthma symptoms often occur in response to a trigger.

 

Common triggers include:

Infections

Allergies

Smoke, fumes and pollution

Medicines

Emotions

Weather changes

Mould or damp

Exercise

Challenge of severe asthma

Patients with severe asthma risk premature mortality and corticosteroid-related comorbidities2,3,5,6

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Female walking in countryside

Complexity of Type 2 inflammation

No single biomarker fully captures the complexity of Type 2 inflammation in asthma7–12

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Severe asthma: Mode of disease

IL-4 and IL-13 are key drivers of Type 2 inflammation in severe asthma7,8,13,14

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EOS, eosinophils; FeNO, fractional exhaled nitric oxide; ILC, innate lymphoid cells; IL, interleukin; IgE, Immunoglobulin E; OCS, oral corticosteroids; Th, t-helper.

References

  1. Cukic V, et al. Mater Sociomed. 2012;24(2):100–105.
  2. Asthma UK. What is severe asthma? Available at: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/severe-asthma/what-is-severe-asthma/. Date accessed: April 2021.
  3. Asthma UK. Severe asthma: the unmet need and the global challenge. Available at: https://www.asthma.org.uk/globalassets/get-involved/external-affairs-campaigns publications/severe-asthma-report/auk_severeasthma_2017.pdf. Date accessed: April 2021.
  4. NHS UK. Asthma causes. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/causes/. Date accessed: April 2021.
  5. Sweeney J, et al. Thorax. 2016;71(4):339–346.
  6. Why asthma still kills. The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD). May 2014. Available at: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/why-asthma-still-kills. Date accessed: April 2021.
  7. Seys SF, et al. Respir Res. 2017;18:39.
  8. Peters MC, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;133(2):388–394.
  9. Peters MC, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019;143(1):104–113.e14.
  10. GINA. Global Initiative for Asthma. Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, 2020. Available at: https://ginasthma.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GINA-2020-report_20_06_04-1-wms.pdf. Date accessed: April 2021.
  11. Amaral R, et al. Clin Transl Allergy. 2018;8:13.
  12. Silkoff PE, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;140(3):710–719.
  13. Tran TN, et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016;116(1):37–42.
  14. Doran E, et al. Front Med. 2017;4:139.